October 9, 2014
Psst….”Do you want a quick Fix”
My Caffeine Fix: Did you know that you may be unknowingly using the world’s 4th most popular Drug?
The Global Drug Survey found that ‘Caffeinated Energy Drinks’ were only just pipped into 3rd spot, by Cannabis, while the good old (if some-what unsociable) tobacco came in 2nd a long way off the world’s favourite, Booze.
We backpackers are renowned for our ability to keep going, but on reading the above survey I thought I would check out more on what this legalized drug is all about. Some of what I found may well surprise you.
There is such a thing as Caffeine addiction which can cause along with other symptoms, headaches, restlessness or anxiety. If your caffeine habit totals more than 500 milligrams (mg) a day, (some coffees can contain 200mg per 8oz cup) you may want to consider cutting back, so says the guys over at the Mayo Clinic
The three most popular drinks in the world all contain caffeine
Coffee, tea, and cola.
Tea leaves have higher caffeine content than coffee beans
Due to the different style of brewing, the eventual tea that is drunk contains far less caffeine. Tea is also packed with tannins, a compound that naturally slows the absorption of caffeine. Tannin is a key component in what makes a wine age. Importantly the jury is still out on the connection between tannin and migraines. In order to remove tannins from your diet you’ll need to stop consuming chocolate, nuts, apple juice, tea, pomegranate and, of course, unfortunately wine.
Adenosine is a chemical that accumulates in your brain over the course of the day and makes you tired. It is also believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal. Caffeine so closely resembles adenosine that it blocks the adenosine receptors, keeping your brain from feeling fatigue. Plus, there’s a kick of that all-important pleasure spiker known as dopamine. Both of these chemical reactions happen in the pre-frontal cortex, which is generally associated with planning cognitive skills.
That instant Caffeine Hit
Due to the molecular structure of caffeine, once ingested, it is transported very quickly around the body; this is the instant caffeine “hit” that you get that perks you up. The half-life of the drug is four to six hours, and more often your body system is clear after 12 hours.
It’s not just in coffee beans or tea leaves
Most governments don’t require manufacturers to list caffeine content on nutrition labels, it’s often hard to tell whether a product contains the stimulant, and just how much. These 12 sources of caffeine, some hidden, some just plain weird, could be giving you the jitters.
Allergic to Caffeine
A person allergic to caffeine is unable to efficiently process or metabolize caffeine. Consequently, they experience hypersensitivity or inflammation in certain organs.
Not apparently a new craze states Vice.com, the side effects of ingesting caffeine in this fashion include convulsions, diarrhoea, dizziness, hallucinations, vomiting, fever and a bunch of other scary nonsense.
Coming down off of Caffeine
Withdrawal symptoms (not based on smoking the shit which must be a lot worse) include headache, irritability, inability to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia, and stomach pain, all or any may appear within 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine intake, they peak at roughly 48 hours, but usually only last a few days so say York Test Laboratories
Oops I forgot
It’s not all bad news, A US study by the Johns Hopkins University has raised the possibility that we may one day rely on caffeine to boost memory as well as to wake us up. Further research in Florida suggests that Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
Other claims of the benefit of Coffee
On researching this subject, I also found other claims such as Caffeine can be used as a way to help to suppress your appetite, according to Jennifer Koslo of Precision Nutrition, while other supplement providers state that if caffeine is taken, before undertaking exercise it can increase the burning of fat by up to 30%’, while both maybe true, surely those that are selling caffeine products, should warn their customers about too much caffeine!
All in all I love my caffeine where ever I can get it, but from now if I ‘Remember’, I think I will take note of how much I am taking in and what it may be doing to my body….now where did I put that bottle of wine!
What’s your favourite recreational drug (only the non-hallucinogenic and legal drug’s please)
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